Patriots Rumors: 3 players to use as trade bait ahead of deadline

The Patriots should be sellers at the deadline, and that's the sad reality

New England Patriots, Mac Jones
New England Patriots, Mac Jones / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages
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2. Josh Uche, EDGE

Maybe the Patriots' best trade chip is pass rusher Josh Uche, who is coming off a breakout season last year and off to a decent start in 2023. In 2022, Uche ended the year with 11.5 sacks while playing only 38 percent of defensive snaps.

Then, this offseason, the Patriots faced a difficult decision. Uche would obviously love a long-term contract now that he's on the final year of his rookie deal. But, in the end, New England opted not to give him a deal. If the Patriots want to focus solely on the future, dealing Uche for a second or third-round pick would be a fantastic return.

Additionally, it would allow New England to draft his replacement instead of investing too much capital into the pass rusher position. The Patriots have already locked down Matthew Judon with a 4-year, $54 million contract. Putting even more into a guy like Uche, who has only had one solid year of production thus far after struggling with injuries, might not be a wise decision going forward.

Teams like the Atlanta Falcons or New Orleans Saints, who are both fighting for a wide open NFC South, could benefit from Uche. Each of them have struggled getting after the quarterback this year, with Atlanta only totaling nine sacks and New Orleans having 13.